Every Idea Works on the White-board!
Matthew Loew posted on January 27, 2014 |
I love the white-board. I am always sketching out something; some idea that needs to get out of my head. I need to get them out of my head so I can see what it looks like. I like that I can easily change things (my finger tips and sleeves are often filthy!), use multiple colors, communicate a process, anything really that can be set in two dimensions statically. Motion and process can be implied with subtle use of emphasis geometry (like in comics). It is always so great just getting it all out.



Images courtesy of CBS's "The Big Bang Theory"

I am amazed at how often the ideas always seem to work on the white-board before the realities of geometry, physics, and economics are applied. White-boards are great for getting the initial idea out, but there is little we can do to develop the idea at this point. Durable concepts withstand the attacks of realism. But how do we get off the white-board?

The first thing I write on a white-board sketch that contains a geometric component is "NTS": Not to Scale! Sometimes just realizing the fundamental geometry into a basic CAD sketch will sink an idea. But most ideas have more than geometry to them. If the load-paths need to be developed with the help of statics, Autodesk® developed ForceEffect™; for mechanisms, ForceEffect™ Motion™; and for simple flow, ForceEffect™ Flow can be used on mobile devices. I really like how I can take a picture of the concept on a smart-phone and work out some of the engineering details.

My frustration is that these tools are still largely only able to be used by a single user. There is no ability to use these tools collaboratively like we do on the white-board. The tools from Autodesk® are pretty clever, but they are mobile apps only and don't work together with other tools. Tools like Enventive and TurboCalc are much closer to what I have in mind, but they are not based on a collaborative platform either. I would really like a system that was like Evernote (being able to be used on any device and able to be used collaboratively) and provided the ability to use real math and engineering tools. Where is my 21st century white-board?

What are other people using to develop their ideas collaboratively off of the white-board?

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